I am a Gen-Xer suffering from Peterpandemonium

Siobhan McAndrew
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL

10/11/2003 10:30 am

We read “Harry Potter,” play Twister at parties and wear fuzzy pajamas with feet.

Yet childhood was over years ago.

We’re REJUVENILES, according to a story in The New York Times. We’re an eclectic collection of 18- to 34-year-olds who are embracing the cultural comforts of childhood.

Oh, those happy days of My Pretty Pony, Raggedy Ann and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” song.

Rejuveniles once again can sleep in Strawberry Shortcake pajamas, now sold in adult sizes at Mervyn’s. Sesame Street T-shirts are back in style. Knee-high socks are coming back.

The Times story points out that Rejuveniles are not “stunted adolescents.” They have “busy lives with adult responsibilities and respectable jobs.”

Others describe this back-to-babyhood boon as Peterpandemonium, Kidults and Adultolescents. They say we are a generation that still likes cartoons, video games and Chipmunks records.

The story cited several reasons why Rejuveniles don’t want to grow up.

“Adulthood has got nothing attractive about it anymore,” said a professor of sociology at the University of Kent at Canterbury in England.

Others said it’s about people seeking comfort in jittery times.

“This is starting to sound like me,” I thought, as I sat at my desk Wednesday afternoon, writing this column and wearing a cute pink barrette bought in the children’s section of a department store.

I’m a Generation X Rejuvenile suffering from Peterpandemonium.

I spend Saturdays with my hair in pigtails.

I’ve played the board game Clue with adult friends.

I went to a dress-up costume party last weekend.

I’ve ridden around town on a scooter.

I own underwear with cartoon characters.

I know who the Teletubbies are. I have a Laa Laa doll.

I had a sleepover party with girlfriends.

I keep glow sticks in my car for fun.

Leaving the grocery store, I’ve put a quarter in a gumball machine that spits out stickers. I’ve put in more quarters until I got the sticker I wanted.

I’ve ordered the kid’s meal at Claim Jumper.

I’ve gotten a Happy Meal for the toy.

I’ve been looking for Hello Kitty merchandise for my adult sister, Molly, who is decorating the bathroom that she shares with an adult roommate with Hello Kitty stuff.

Yesterday, I enjoyed a Welch’s grape soda.

I own a bubble machine.

I am seriously giving way too much thought to this year’s Halloween costume.

Who can blame anyone for wanting to return to the good old days, when Valentine’s Day cards came from everyone in class?

The bubbles I can blow with Bazooka are way better than the ones with Trident White.

I pay extra for the Band-Aids with flowers.

I’d drink Diet Coke from a juice box.

I’ve been to meetings that would benefit from a can of silly string.

Jell-O is cool.

When I am waiting in a doctor’s office, I’ll sometimes do Chinese jump rope with my feet.

“In, out, side-to-side, on ,in, out,” I say to myself.

I still can twirl a baton, do a cartwheel and bend my thumb to my wrist.

I regret never having been able to touch my tongue to my nose.

Flavored toothpaste . . . finally.

I’ve been to the Boomtown Fun Center and cashed in game tickets for a parachute man prize . . . recently.

I’ve been to the roller rink . . . recently.

I miss my dorm room in college, my canopy bed and making macaroni necklaces for my mom.

Cooking made sense with an Easy Bake Oven.

A peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich still can hit the spot.

I like those photo booths where you get a row of four mug shots.

With a straight face, I can order chicken strips, root beer floats and sundaes with sprinkles.

I’m glad the Smurfs, Care Bears and Rainbow Brite are back.

Yeah, yeah, yeah! I have Tony Hawk’s autograph.

I can’t imagine a world where I would prefer eggs Benedict to chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream.